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Dems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza

Dems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza
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House Democrats are on a fundraising tear in the final stretch of the midterm cycle, lending a big last-minute boost to their chances of flipping the chamber in November’s elections. 
 
More than 80 Democratic candidates have each raised more than $500,000 dollars in the third quarter of the year, which ended on Sept. 30, and eight of those have raised more than $3 million, the head of the Democrats’ campaign arm announced on Thursday.
 
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The numbers, which in some races rival the fundraising hauls of much more prominent Senate candidates, are raising eyebrows even among Democratic operatives, who attribute the 11th-hour financial bonanza to the grassroots enthusiasm of the Democratic base in the age of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE
 
“Those numbers are incredible,” Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) told a small gathering of reporters at a Bloomberg editorial roundtable in Washington. 
 
“It shows you where there’s a lot of energy and momentum, and that’s predominately grassroots fed and fueled.”
 
Lujan declined to name the individual candidates pulling in the big figures, but some campaigns have already released their numbers
 
Amy McGrath, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Andy BarrAndy BarrRep. Andy Barr beats back Democratic challenge in Kentucky Reclaiming the American Dream Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs MORE in Kentucky, and Josh Harder, who’s pitted against Rep. Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamBusiness groups breathe sigh of relief over prospect of divided government Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme Bottom line MORE (R) in California, have both brought in more than $3 million for the quarter — mammoth figures for House races where seven-figure hauls are highly unusual.
 
In Illinois, GOP Rep. Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamPostcards become unlikely tool in effort to oust Trump Bottom line Lobbying world MORE is facing a tough race against Democrat Sean Casten, who raised $2.6 million in the third quarter. And in Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids pulled in $2.7 million in her challenge to four-term Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderBottom line Amanda Adkins wins GOP primary to challenge Rep. Sharice Davids Sharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' MORE (R). 
 
Election handicappers Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Cook Political Report shifted the Yoder race to “leans Democratic" this week.
 
All told, according to Lujan, 82 Democratic candidates have raised more than $500,000 for the quarter. Of those, 74 have pulled in more than $750,000; 60 have topped $1 million; 30 have surpassed $2 million; and eight have exceeded $3 million.
 
“Past cycles you would consider a $400,000 quarter for a House candidate to be very strong,” said Meredith Kelly, a DCCC spokeswoman.
 
Optimism from party leaders is hardly unusual heading into elections — indeed, it’s virtually a part of the job description to demonstrate confidence and boost morale among the party base, even in the toughest cycles.
 
But this year, Democrats have the wind at the backs for a host of reasons.
 
Trump’s approval rating, for one, is hovering in the low 40s. The DCCC is outpacing its Republican counterpart by millions of dollars in the fundraising race.
 
And historically, the party in power has been clobbered in midterm cycles, losing seats in 36 of the 39 midterm cycles stretching back more than 150 years. The average loss, according to the Sabato analysts, is an enormous 33 seats. 
 
The Democrats, who lost the House in a 2010 election wave, need to flip a net 23 seats to recapture the Speaker’s gavel. 
 
The DCCC, Lujan said, is currently spending money in 77 districts. And the group is closely monitoring the spending of its campaign allies, like the House Majority PAC, in order to “stretch our dollars as far as we can.”   
 
“We have to be smart about our investments,” Lujan said. “We have to maximize every dollar.” 
 
Lujan ticked off a number of tight races he’ll being eying closely on election night as a gauge for how well the party will fare across the country.
 
Among those contests are districts held by GOP Reps. Bruce PoliquinBruce Lee PoliquinTrump battle with Fox News revived by Arizona projection Rep. Jared Golden wins reelection in Maine Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE (Maine), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), John FasoJohn James FasoDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (N.Y.), Leonard LanceLeonard LanceThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Gun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs MORE (N.J.), Tom MacArthurThomas (Tom) Charles MacArthurChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Republican David Richter wins NJ primary in race to challenge Rep. Andy Kim What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday MORE (N.J.) and Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  MORE (Pa.).
 
“I don’t know that I have a bellwether district, but would I would say is picking up two seats out of New Jersey, and four seats out of Pennsylvania at the beginning of the night [would] show it’s going to be a good night for Democrats,” he said.
 
Lujan is predicting the Democrats will win back the chamber, but declined to put a number on the seats he’s expecting to flip.
 
“I’m not operating under any wave assumptions. All that I’m concentrating on is winning back the majority, he said. 
 
He emphasized that Democrats are taking nothing for granted. 
 
“We need to finish this, and we need to run through the tape,” he said. “I’m confident we’re in a position to do it. I’m confident we’ll win the majority. 
 
“I just know it’s going to be a fight every day between now and elections.”